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06 August 2020

Free Webinar about the Angel Island Immigration Station, August 13

Immigrants arriving at Angel Island dock. Department of Photographic Archives, State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation

Angel Island in San Francisco Bay is known as a place to enjoy a picnic or bike ride, or for some, for the Chinese poetry that immigrants carved into the walls of the barracks of the immigration station, which was used from 1910-1940. What is less known is that over 500,000 immigrants from 80 countries spent some time on the island during their immigration journeys.

CGS board member Grant Din worked for the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation for eight years and currently volunteers to manage its Immigrant Voices website, which has over 220 stories of West Coast immigrants, most of whom immigrated through the island. The site includes stories of immigrants from over thirty countries, including those from China, Russia, Japan, Korea, South Asia, Austria, Germany, the Philippines, and even a couple who escaped the Armenian genocide through Siberia and eventually made their way into the United States via Angel Island. Even composer Serge Prokofiev spent several days on the island.



“It’s not as well known as Ellis Island, and the immigrants’ entries into the U.S. were generally more difficult,” said Din. Whether trying to circumvent the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Asiatic Barred Zone, or fleeing Nazi-controlled Austria yet being labeled 'likely to become a public charge,' Angel Island immigrants often faced difficult obstacles to their admission to the United States.

Grant Din

 

Come join a free webinar on Thursday, August 13 at 4 p.m. Pacific time to learn more about these stories and the genealogical treasures that can be found about these immigrants. Register here and we’ll see you online!


Copyright © 2020 by California Genealogical Society

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